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The Top 5 Jobs Held By Older Americans

Topics: Data & Research
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Many different factors impact the age of retirement.


Workers from some occupations tend to retire earlier than others, due to the physical demands of their job, for example. Other factors like savings, children, health and investments matter, too. Broader economic shifts also play a part in workers’ decisions.


Recently, analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find out which jobs are the most common among American workers aged 65 or older.


These are the top five:


1. Managers.


This report identified manager is the most common job title for older Americans. Roughly 320,000 workers over the age of 65 have this job. However, they only make up 8.2 percent of the total number of workers with this title. It stands to reason that higher-wage positions, like manager, are difficult to give up. A couple more years on the job can make a big difference financially. So, it can be tempting to work past traditional retirement age.


2. Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers.


Although young people have started to work in farming, agricultural work in general is often done by older Americans. There are about 293,000 workers aged 65 and older doing these jobs. But, these workers make up 29.9 percent of the total workforce. That’s the highest percentage of any job on the list, by far.


3. Retail salespersons.


Retail jobs are often very hard work. Dealing with the general public is tough, and the work can be physically demanding, too. Still, 269,000 Americans over the age of 65 have a job as a retail salesperson. That’s only about 8.2 percent of the total retail salesperson workforce, though. It’s a huge industry.


4. Secretaries and administrative assistants.


About 246,000 workers over the age of 65 work as secretaries and administrative assistants, as of 2016. This group of older Americans accounts for 8.5 percent of the total population of workers with this job title.


5. Driver or sales workers and truck drivers.


A significant portion of the workers in this industry are over the age of 65. They make up 7.4 percent of the total. About 245,000 older Americans work at one of these jobs, which can be more physically grueling than is immediately obvious. How did you feel after your last 12-hour car-ride?


For more information on the current state of elderly employment in the U.S., check out the full report from


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